Events and festivals in the UKEnjoy fantastic festivals, right here at home
Whether your interests lie in food, film or just plain fun, you'll find hundreds of related festivals throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Every year, the UK hosts a diverse range of exciting events, ranging from famed international celebrations, to time-honoured traditions which have their roots in centuries past. From the multicultural bonanza that is Notting Hill Carnival, to the wacky and weird shows held at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we have a calendar of truly great events and festivals that everyone can be proud of.
Of course, wherever your event or festival of choice is held, you'll find hotel prices soar when the big day comes. That's where HomeAway comes in, offering affordable, comfortable holiday accommodation that makes you feel like you never left home. From central apartments in London to cottages within easy reach of the UK's major cities, we have thousands of private holiday rentals in the UK for you to choose from. So why wait? Simply read on for a small selection of the UK's very best festivals and events.
Best events and festivals in the UK
For well over 50 years, Scotland's capital city has hosted a unique and diverse selection of shows during August, collected together in a number of world-acclaimed festivals. Collectively the largest annual cultural event in the world, the festivals see the city overwhelmed with hundreds of thousands of tourists. Edinburgh Festival Fringe welcomes all manner of performers, be they comedians, circuses or cabaret acts, while the Edinburgh International Festival sees opera performances, music concerts and theatre groups travel to the city. At this time, you can also attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival - the oldest in the world - the Edinburgh Art Festival, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Wimbledon Tennis Championships
The Wimbledon Tennis Championship is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely regarded as not only the biggest, but the most prestigious, too. Every year, it is held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, and has been since its inception in 1877. Taking place over two weeks in late June and early July, there are a number of attractive aspects of the event, aside from the momentous Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Finals. Spectators eat enough strawberries and drink enough champagne to last a lifetime, and Royal patronage attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe. The chance to attend is determined by a public ballot at the start of the year, and has been since 1924.
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival has been held on every August Bank Holiday since 1965, and remains one of London's most colourful and exciting events. Led predominantly by members of the West Indian community, it attracts almost one million people every year, ensuring it keeps a top spot as one of the largest street festivals in the world. A true treat for the senses, the festival sees huge parades, culinary delights and music, all brought to life by the performer's elaborate, vibrant costumes. With jerk chicken, rum punch and fried plantain on the menu, and Calypso, Reggae and Soca music echoing through the streets, Notting Hill Carnival is not to be missed.
The Grand National
Held annually in April at Liverpool's nearby Aintree Racecourse, the Grand National is a race like no other in the UK: gathering families and groups of friends otherwise uninterested in horse racing, it holds a special power over people every year. The race is a handicap steeplechase run, that sees horses and their jockeys attempt a four mile track: including 16 formidable fences, it often sees many horses fail to complete the two circuits. The race has been held at Aintree since 1839, and offers a total prize fund of over £975,000: with private holiday rentals throughout the surrounding area, why not don your best hat this year, and enjoy some bubbly while you place your bets?
Widely regarded as the world's greatest classical musical festival, the Proms is an eight-week long event which sees hundreds of orchestral music concerts performed every year. Founded in 1895, and originally known as the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, the concerts are held predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, with Proms in the Park hosting other large outdoor events. Of all the festival's events, the Last Night celebrations see thousands of people come together, enjoying a range of world premieres and time-honoured classics performed. Whether you’re out to sample contemporary pieces or listen to Tchaikovsky's best, you'll have the time of your life at the Proms.
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